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Women and Work


Women's participation in the labour market contributes significantly to the Scottish economy.

However, for many women a range of barriers exist, preventing them from achieving their full potential in all sectors and at all levels in the labour market.  Occupational segregation features as a key characteristic of modern labour markets with an associated tendency for the market to undervalue the jobs that women do.

Tackling all forms of gender inequality and supporting women to access and participate in employment is vital for the economy, health, family life and the community. 


1) Guide to Data Sources for Women's Labour Market Information

This is a guide covering the key datasets that contain data relevant to women's employment. It contains links to the datasets as well as a description of the variables on women each holds. There are also notes on each dataset on geography, methodology and the other main topics covered.

2) Labour Market Information: Survey Variables Comparison

This paper looks at 15 key datasets whish have a focus on employment and compares the variable groups each survey includes. I particular this guide sets out which variables are relevant to women's employment.  Some of the surveys covered by this paper include the Annual Population Survey, the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings and the Census. 

3) Summary Review of Evidence: Childcare

This briefing paper covers key evidence on the links between childcare and employment and sets out sources for further information and data.

4) Summary Review of Evidence: Unpaid Work

This briefing paper covers key evidence on unpaid work with a focus on women and Scotland. The paper also sets out sources for further information and data.

5) Summary Review of Evidence: Quotas for Women on Boards

This briefing paper summarises current data on the women in corporate boards and presents key evidence on how women on boards effect business performance.

6) Women's employment support networks and resources

This is a list of support networks for women in business in Scotland, the UK and beyond. It provides a link to the website of each network as well as a description of what each network does.
7) Women's Labour Market Information (List of resources by theme)

This guide lists data sources, reports, articles, websites and other resources which provide information about different aspects of women's employment and experience of work. Resources are grouped by themes including Education and Learning, Patterns of Employment, Issues in Work and Women in Business. Where available a link to the website of the resource is provided as well as a brief description of what it covers.

8) Women's Employment Summit Evidence Paper

This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the evidence on key issues related to women's employment. This includes patterns of employment, earnings, issues in work, childcare and international comparisons. This is an updated version of the evidence paper that was produced for the Women's Employment Summit which took place in 2012. Where more recent data was available figures and charts have been updated in this version.

9) Maximising Economic Opportunities for Women in Scotland

As part of the marking of International Women's Day, the First Minister will launch the evidence paper :- Maximising Economic Opportunities for Women on 14 March 2015.  Developed to inform the Scottish Government's Council of Economic Advisers' discussions on women in Scotland's economy, the paper sets out what we know about women in Scotland's economy, the barriers women face and the actions of the Scottish Government to address these within the scope of the powers we have.  Publication of the paper was requested by the Strategic Group on Women and Work.


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